Movie Information

Twin Rivers Media Festival presents Fix at 8 p.m. Friday, May 2, at Courtyard Gallery, 9 Walnut St. in downtown Asheville. Other festival events and films take place over the weekend. Info: 273-3331.
Genre: Darkly Comedic Drama
Director: Tao Ruspoli
Starring: Shawn Andrews, Olivia Wilde, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Tao Ruspoli, Dedee Pfeiffer
Rated: NR

This year’s Twin Rivers Media Festival’s award-winning feature film, Tao Ruspoli’s Fix, is probably only about two-thirds as clever and hip as it thinks it is, and it definitely suffers from an ending that you’ll probably see coming from a mile away. But at the same time, Fix is an engaging work of no small charm—and one of the few exercises in first-person narrative filmmaking I’ve seen that really works. Plus, this second is interestingly achieved.

In the first place, it helps enormously that Ruspoli avoids the current trend in handheld clichés by manning the camera as if he actually knows something about filmmaking and is trying to make the film look as good as he can. In light of the modern mania for handing the camera to someone who shoots every scene like a chimp with palsy in the name of “realism,” Ruspoli’s approach is decidedly refreshing. Also in its favor on this score is the film’s use of an array of cinematic techniques—including classic Godard-style jump cuts—to keep things from bogging down into that dismal pseudo-stream-of-conscious approach that’s supposed to mimic real time. The story covers a stretch of about 16 hours, which are reasonably sized down to 89 minutes of movie.

The fact-based tale feels more like a fact-based anecdote, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it probably works in the film’s favor, since much of its success lies in the darkly quirky humor of a situation that’s really almost nightmarish. Everything revolves around filmmaker Milo (Ruspoli) and his partner, Bella (Olivia Wilde), trying to get his drug-addict brother, Leo (Shawn Andrews), into rehab before 8 p.m. If they can’t, Leo goes to jail. It sounds simple, but there’s a catch: Rehab costs $5,000 that none of them have. The upshot is a mini-road-trip movie around nearly every area of Los Angeles as they try to come up with the money—finally deciding that the only route is to buy a pound of marijuana and make a quick profit on it. That, too, is easier than it sounds. The movie doesn’t entirely work—some of the scenes drag—but there’s a nice feel to it all and several good characterizations that make it more than worth a look.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

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6 thoughts on “Fix

  1. Ken Hanke

    I’d like to add to this to note that the Twin Rivers Media Festival also has —

    Experimental/Narrative Films — Sat May 3, 1-3 p.m.

    Animation — Sat May 3, 3-6 p.m.

    Short Dramatic Films — Sat May 3, 7-11 p.m.

    Documentary Films — Sun May 4, 2-8 p.m.

    I’d pay particular attention to those Short Dramatic Films. Why? Because short films — which tend to get overlooked at film festivals — are often quite the best things out there. Far too many burgeoning filmmakers jump into making features too soon, which is understandable, because features get most of the attention. The shorts are often far more accomplished.

  2. carlos

    Thanks Ken,
    I would also like to add the the quality of the short drama, experimental and especially animation is at an all time high this year. Don’t miss it. We are also featuring the works of 3 Asheville filmmakers, one of whom will receive our Western North Carolina Acheivement award at 3pm on Saturday.

  3. oops, Make that Western North Carolina Acheivement Award presentation at 8pm Friday night, May 2. The film will show at that time and also on 3pm Saturday.

  4. Here is the film list of the award winners and Official Selections–Thanks

    !Wild and Free: A Screech Owl Named Pinkey, (8:22 , Asheville, NC)
    Linda McLean—
    Winner Western North Carolina Achievement Award 2008

    Fix –Feature Film Award Winner 2008—Review by Ken Hanke
    Directed by: Tao Ruspoli
    Starring: Shawn Andrews, Olivia Wilde, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Tao Ruspoli, Dedee Pfeiffer

    Feature Films: To be scheduled and reviewed on Friday World Cinema Series at the Courtyard Gallery

    Second Place—Commute
    Directed by: Marc Wasserman, Stanton—World Premier

    Third Place—Pose Down
    Directed by: Erika Yeomans, NY, NY

    Fourth Place—He to Her and She to the Books
    Directed by: Mart Pellicer—Barcelona, Spain, NA Premier

    Fifth Place—Yesterday Was A Lie
    Directed by: James Kerwin, Hollywood, CA

    Honorable Mentions:
    Wayside—Leo Faubion
    Portraits of Sari—Daniel Magro
    Going to Whatstock?—Michael O’Brien
    The Vacant House—Ray and Migdalia Ether

    Experimental/Narrative Films

    First Place–Rakugakiiromachi (30m, Japan)
    kasumi hiraoka

    Second Place–Ancestor Eyes (15m, LA, CA)
    dir. by Kalani Queypo

    Third Place– Hollywood Jerome (11m, Chicago, IL)
    by Frey Hoffman

    Fourth Place–Forced Perspective (5:30m, Brand Rapids, MI)
    Deanna Morse

    Fifth Place–Hungry God (9m, Oviedo, FL)
    dir. by Sukhada Gokhale-Bhonde

    Sixth Place– Victims (23m, Austria, Sweden)
    dir. by Nino Strohecker

    Seventh Place– The Gifter (17m, Miami, Fl
    Shaun Wright and Hernando Visbal

    Honorable Mentions

    Elegies to Lessons Learnt (5m, (Chapter 3) United Kingdom)
    dir. by Ashley Dean
    Invitation (4:30 m, Long Beach, CA)
    Jacqueline Kitt
    The Roxy—4min– Philadelphia, PA.
    Sean O’Leary and Kathryn Morrison


    First Place—24 Frames (18m, Saegertown, PA)
    Directed by Brad Pattullo

    Laura – in Action (15m, Denmark)
    dir. by Laerke Drews

    Third Place–Dinner Table (3m, Glendale, CA)
    dir. by Song E Kim

    Fourth Place–Obsession (4m, Berkeley, CA)
    dir. by Melanie Hofmann
    Fifth Place– Speedy and The Finer Things in Life (18Min, South Africa)
    Dir. By Tim Mostert

    Sixth Place– Até ao tecto do mundo (74m, Portugal)
    Dir. By Antonio Costa Valente & Carlos Silva, Cine Clube Avanca

    Seventh Place–Permutation (3m, MI,U S A)
    dir. by Viktoriya Gruzdyn,

    Eighth Place–Beetle Blasphemy (12m, Rochester, NY)
    dir. by Ferris Webby

    Honorable Mentions:

    dir. by Aurelio Voltaire
    L’amie De Zoe (2m, Minneapolis, MN)
    Dir by Danny Robashkin
    When The World Goes Dark (7m, Broadview Heights, OH,)
    dir. by Anthony Scalmato

    Short Drama Films

    First Place–Clouded Billy Cuff (31m, Las Vegas, NV)
    dir. by Mathew Wright

    Second Place–Cecilia Rose (12m, Calbasas)
    dir. by Judd King

    Third Place__D’entre les morts (29m, France)
    dir. by Alain BASSO

    Fourth Place–Regular Guy (35m, Saratoga Springs, NY)
    dir. by Leigh Rathner

    Fifth Place–Previous Tenants (15m, NY,NY)
    dir. by Regina Robbins

    Sixth Place–Double Talk (5m, Switzerland, U S A)
    dir. by Julien Ezri

    Seventh Place–Counting Waves (13m, Flushing, NY)
    dir. by Eric Maryea

    Eighth Place—Prometheus (17m, Asheville, NC)
    Dir by Lis Anna

    Ninth Place—Extreme Me (23m, Ireland)
    Dir by Mathew Blayney

    First Place Student–Rabia (24m, Avon, CO)
    dir. by Muhammad Ali Hasan

    Second Place Student–Roofless Street (9m, Czech Republic, Greece)
    dir. by Babis Tsoutsas

    Third Place Student–KEYS (23m, LA,CA)
    dir. by Christopher Babers

    Fourth Place Student-Yom Hafifa (26m, Petach Tikva, Israel,)
    dir. by Amit Turkenitz

    Honorable Mentions

    Gangster’s Crib (23m, NY,NY)
    dir. by Jack Bank
    rebel song (15m, United Kingdom)
    dir. by simon Arthur
    Twilight (16m, West Hollywood, CA)
    dir. by George Kitson
    The Bungled & The Botched (12m, U S A)
    dir. by Timothy Shay
    U: The Underwood Company (19m, Munhall, PA)
    dir. by Joseph Varhola
    I Fucking Hate You (9m, LA, CA)
    dir. by Zak Forsman
    Outhouse (5m, LA, CA)
    Jack Truman

    Documentaries and Outdoor Films

    First Place–Finding Kraftland (75m, Hollywood, CA)
    sub. by Richard Kraft

    Second Place–Camp Woz: The Admirable Lunacy of Philanthropy (78m, LA,CA)
    dir. by Jarrad Kritzstein,

    Third Place– Woven Ways (50m, Stockton, NJ)
    dir. by Linda Helm Krapf

    Fourth Place–The Unseen Face of AIDS in Romania (21m, Hungary)
    dir. by Audrey Nesbitt

    Outdoor Films

    First Place–Karearea: The Pine Falcon (49m, Auckland, New Zealand)
    dir. by Sandy Crichton

    Second Place:On the Down Low. (20m, Asheville, NC)
    dir. by Thomas Oliver

    Garden Insects (50m, Burkesville, KY)
    dir. by Chris Korrow

    Honorable Mentions

    Appalachian State Football: A Date With Destiny (13.22, Atlanta, Ga)
    Dir. By Ray Goodrich
    The Extraordinary Voyages of Jules Verne (70m, Foresthill , CA,)
    dir. by Philip Gardiner
    Listen to Iran’s People: A Call for Peace (28m, Berkeley, CA,)
    sub. by Margot Smith
    Para la comunidad, Desde la comunidad (14m, Bolivia)
    dir. by Mark Kendall

    Commercial Films:

    Official Selections:
    The Beachwood Music Video
    Olivia Briggs, LA, CA

    Junior Trends, Red Carpet, Ladies Night, and The Beach
    Bob Underhill, Raleigh, NC

    Channel 3 Promo 2
    Mauricio Perez, National City, UK

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